12 Tips for Newbies
1. Slow progress is better than no progress Practice every day, even if it feels like you're not getting anywhere. And share your progress with others. I look back at my work, and seeing how far I've come encourages me to keep going! Set yourself mini projects to stay creative, that way you have something fun to work on besides client work :)
2. Take your time, and don't be intimidated by others Use it for fuel to do better. Your style will take awhile but it will come and you will notice. When you're stuck, always go back to basics and build. Keep everything! You don't have to show everything, but keep it. It will help you see progress. Don't rush. Breathe. When you get frustrated put the pen down and relax. You draw better with a calm and clear mind. If it takes awhile to finish it takes awhile. Slow and steady. Using a references isn't bad. Sometimes they help with ideas and placement. Try different things. Create a small art click that you can talk or hang with. Art is a lot more fun with people.
3. Speedpaintings are for entertainment purposes only Please realize that they can be cut before compressing time, to weed the biggest mistakes out. When watching your favorite artist work, realize that everything will seem easy and logical, since they probably spend 10k+ hours becoming better already (I cannot stress this enough). Don't compare yourself to others (or their progress), It can be very demoralizing.
4. Fundamentals are everything! Learn these & you will be painting like a rock star in no time. They are the foundation upon which all art styles are built on.
5. It'll look worse before it looks better Don't go in expecting your work to look like everyone else's. It'll take time - like anything. Don't let it discourage you because you will get there. You just need to work hard. Also, it'll look worse before it looks better. And don't be afraid of colours. Don't be afraid of being bold. Experiment. There's no limit! Also don't let social media bring you down. If you don't get noticed right away, keep trying.
6. Don't get too hung up on brushes There are so many brushes and they are very interesting, but the basic round brush is what you need to master first. Other artists you admire aren't good because of the brushes they use, but because they've put in the practice to become *GOOD*. Don't overuse the air brush, the painting will lose all the shape and look flat. Don't stop painting, you'll get used to it.
7. It isn't until the end of a drawing that you can see if it's something to be proud of DRAW DRAW DRAW, even a shitty drawing is better than a blank piece of paper at the end of the day. It isn't until the end of a drawing that you can see if it's something to be proud of. Finishing your drawings fast doesn't make you good, take the time it takes, as you progress you will find it takes a shorter time to get to the end, but drawing fast is not the goal, since you are not making money off it. Using references is not cheating, not using references is akin to playing football on a team without using real football shoes (references is just another tool like your pen or the paper you draw on).
8. Eat the elephant Focus on the small next step only. Don’t think too much about the final outcome. Or: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! ;)
9. Light is everything If you want to get into realistic painting: *Light* is everything. Not the superficial light, but the physics behind it. Learn how light waves work and you'll subsequently understand how color, particular kinds of materials, shadows and even the human eyes work. This knowledge won't make you draw better instantly, but you'll make larger leaps of progress much quicker.
10. It’s easy to compare yourself to other digital artists... ...and think “why is my piece so bad”... But don’t give up! Everyone started off digital art confused and unsure, but with lots of practice and determination you can create beautiful pieces!
Don't compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to yourself and you'll see the progress that you've made.
11. Be humble This is the first step - don't have an ego, as it will just crush you. As many have said above, take small steps at a time. Learn to draw a sphere, a box, any object that has light on it to make it 3D. Don't worry, have fun - the more you open yourself up to laugh at yourself and learn, the less problems you'll have.
12. Improving is a life-long endeavor. Have fun with it! If you ask for critique, be ready to be criticized, don't post for critique in order for people to tell you how good you are, you learn nothing from that. Learning the basics (Composition, Perspective, Value, Lighting, Anatomy, Observation) is a life long endeavor, there is always something to learn in this area.
Finally the most important thing to realize is to have fun with what you do. Otherwise I'm afraid you are doomed to failure to begin with.
So there you have it...